2019 GMC Acadia vs. 2019 Dodge Journey

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Acadia Denali’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Journey doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Acadia are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Journey doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Acadia has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Journey doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

The Acadia (except SL/SLE) offers optional Forward Automatic Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Journey doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Acadia SLE/SLT’s optional Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Journey doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Acadia (except SL/SLE)’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Journey doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Acadia Denali offers an optional Surround Vision System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Journey only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

The Acadia (except SL)’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Journey doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Acadia (except SL)’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Journey doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Acadia has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Journey doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Acadia and the Journey have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available all-wheel drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the GMC Acadia is safer than the Dodge Journey:

 

Acadia

Journey

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

138

158

Neck Injury Risk

22%

27%

Neck Stress

162 lbs.

250 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

112/392 lbs.

502/600 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

37%

52%

Neck Stress

152 lbs.

164 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

10/95 lbs.

631/373 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the GMC Acadia is safer than the Journey:

 

Acadia

Journey

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Restraints

GOOD

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

12 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

19 cm

24 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Femur Force R/L

.2/.1 kN

6.3/2.9 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

22%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Tibia index R/L

.59/.48

.8/.83

Tibia forces R/L

.9/.9 kN

1/2 kN

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the GMC Acadia is safer than the Dodge Journey:

 

Acadia

Journey

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

896 lbs.

972 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

16 inches

Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

35 G’s

Hip Force

673 lbs.

712 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Acadia the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 154 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Journey was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The Acadia’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and 40,000 miles longer than the Journey’s (6/100,000 vs. 5/60,000).

GMC pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Acadia. GMC will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Dodge doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Journey.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Acadia has a standard 660-amp battery. The Journey’s 525-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that GMC vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 18th in reliability. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 23rd.

Engine

The Acadia’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (193 vs. 173) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (188 vs. 166) than the Journey’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 27 more horsepower (310 vs. 283) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 260) than the Journey’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the GMC Acadia V6 is faster than the Dodge Journey V6:

 

Acadia

Journey

Zero to 60 MPH

6.7 sec

7.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.6 MPH

87.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Acadia gets better fuel mileage than the Journey:

 

 

Acadia

Journey

 

2WD

2.5 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

21 city/26 hwy

19 city/25 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

 

3.6 V6/6-spd. Auto

18 city/25 hwy

17 city/25 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

4WD

2.5 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

21 city/25 hwy

n/a

 

3.6 V6/6-spd. Auto

17 city/25 hwy

16 city/24 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Acadia 4 cyl.’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Journey doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Acadia has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Journey doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the GMC Acadia higher (5 to 6 out of 10) than the Dodge Journey (3). This means the Acadia produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Journey every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

The Acadia’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Journey are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Acadia has larger standard tires than the Journey (235/65R18 vs. 225/65R17). The Acadia’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Journey (255/65R17 vs. 225/65R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Acadia offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Journey’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The GMC Acadia’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Dodge Journey only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Acadia has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Journey doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Acadia offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Journey’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Acadia has variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Journey doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Acadia is 2.7 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Journey.

The Acadia SLT AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the Journey AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Acadia SLT AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the Journey AWD (26.9 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis

The front grille of the Acadia FWD 4 cyl. uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Journey doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Acadia uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Journey doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Acadia has 22.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Journey (143.8 vs. 121.7).

The Acadia has .2 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, 3.6 inches more rear legroom, 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room, 7.7 inches more third row legroom, 2.9 inches more third row hip room and 10.8 inches more third row shoulder room than the Journey.

Cargo Capacity

The Acadia’s cargo area provides more volume than the Journey.

 

Acadia

Journey

Behind Third Seat

12.8 cubic feet

10.7 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

41.7 cubic feet

37 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

79 cubic feet

67.6 cubic feet

The Acadia’s cargo area is larger than the Journey’s in almost every dimension:

 

Acadia

Journey

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

18.5”/48”/83”

16”/41.5”/75”

Min Width

42.5”

41.4”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Acadia’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Journey doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Acadia (except SL) offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the Acadia Denali, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Journey doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Dodge Journey is limited to 2500 pounds. The Acadia offers up to a 4000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The Acadia uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Journey uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

When different drivers share the Acadia (except SL/SLE), the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Journey doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Acadia (except SL/SLE)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Journey doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Acadia’s standard front power windows lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Journey’s power windows’ passenger windows don’t open automatically. The Acadia’s optional front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches. The Journey GT’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to lower them fully.

The Acadia’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Journey’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Acadia has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Journey only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Acadia (except SL/SLE) detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Journey doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

When the Acadia with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Journey’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Acadia SLT/Denali has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Journey has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Acadia and the Journey offer available heated front seats. The Acadia also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Journey.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Acadia Denali keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Journey doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Acadia Denali offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Journey doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages

The Acadia will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Acadia will retain 42.28% to 47.72% of its original price after five years, while the Journey only retains 36.8% to 42.12%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Acadia is less expensive to operate than the Journey because typical repairs cost much less on the Acadia than the Journey, including $794 less for a muffler, $22 less for a starter, $219 less for a fuel pump and $151 less for front struts.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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